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Dip Into God's Abundance


11/1/20 Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." I want to talk a little on prosperity today. Prosperity can refer to God’s abundance in all areas of our lives. When we speak of prosperity in life, we are really speaking in terms of our needs and desires being met. In 1895, Booker T. Washington delivered a speech before the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta that came to be known as the “Atlanta Compromise.” His address was important and influential, and established Washington as one of the leading black spokesmen in America. He tells us this in his story: “A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal: “Water, water. We die of thirst.” The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back: “Cast down your bucket where you are.” A second time, the signal, “Water, send us water!” went up from the distressed vessel. And was answered: “Cast down your bucket where you are.” A third and fourth signal for water was answered: “Cast down your bucket where you are.” The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River.” What these mariners did not know was that although they could not see land, the freshwater from the mouth of the Amazon extends 200 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. For days, the crew of the ship was dying of dehydration amidst an unlimited supply of life-saving drinkable water. For many of us, when we think of prosperity, we think of finances. So, let us consider that first. It is easy to move into fear as we listen to the television and read the reports that come out. The debt, interest rates, unemployment, threats of stock market crashes, threats of economic crashes … these and more can cause us to move into severe anxiety. In Psalm 42:1-2 we read: As the deer pants for streams of water, So my soul pants for You, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. We are like the deer that is panting for a stream; desperately searching for relief. We can feel helpless and adrift, like the sailors. It is at these times that we re-examine our beliefs. Where is our thinking taking us? If God’s will for us is absolute good, then prosperity is our divine right, our inheritance. Do we really believe that? As a Child of God, we are created to have abundance in all things, including material things that will make us comfortable in this life, opportunities to express our highest natures so that we can live a fulfilled and satisfying life, as well as relationships to feed us emotionally. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) One of God’s infinite channels for prosperity includes instant blessings, like the Tooth Fairy leaving money under our pillows. More often prosperity arrives through God’s creative ideas, which we then translate into actions. We prosper as we allow our thoughts and beliefs to align with the good that God wants to provide. We must “cast down our bucket” … and draw from all avenues of God’s good. And of course, check under our pillows! When we align our mental and spiritual vibrations - our thought-energy - with Source, ideas flow to us; we are led to the right people, and we find ourselves in the right place at the right time. Synchronistic events become the norm. When we are constantly aware of God’s presence our good flows to us naturally, easily, and bountifully, until we cut it off again by moving into fear. When we ask, God responds and answers. In 1 John 5:14 we are told: And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. What pleases God is not only good for us, but for everyone, and does not exclude any portion of humanity. No, what pleases God is what is beneficial for every Child of God. Our part as a Child of God is to listen, respond, react, and accept. We open our arms to God’s good and prepare ourselves, meaning our thinking and beliefs, so that we are attuning to God’s guidance. There are a couple of old patterns of human thinking that can block our prosperity. One is the belief that abundance is limited: for good to come to me, then someone else must be deprived of theirs. Sometimes we think that people are out there waiting to take our good from us. Some believe that substance is limited and can be used up. We must reeducate ourselves because this concept is wrong. God’s abundance is unlimited; substance is unlimited because God is constantly in the state of creating. Mary once was told that they were educating their 3rd Graders for jobs, careers, and industries that do not even exist yet. The Internet has opened vast opportunities for people to experience God’s abundance that did not exist five years ago. God’s abundance and Love cannot be contained. There is no lack, except how we see and believe, which is totally within our control. Another misconception is this: prosperity comes from gathering, saving, taking, hoarding. The Truth is that prosperity does not come by getting more – it comes by giving more. We prosper when we focus on giving and sharing. This refers not only to our time, money, talents, relationships, and service, but to our spiritual energies of harmony, peace, love, and oneness with all. It is unavoidable and incontrovertible – we prosper when we give. By the measure we give, it is measured back to us. A third, and common misbelief is that it is wrong to have abundance; that somehow, we are not deserving or worthy. We have misunderstood the words of Christ: he never said it was wrong to have abundance. He warned against the dangers of focusing on prosperity rather than on God. He taught, “Fear not, little flock; for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) We have heard that “Money is the root of all evil.” But the truth is the Bible says that the ‘love’ of money is the root of all evil. Power is not evil; the ‘love’ of power is evil. The love, attention, admiration, and focus we give to the human condition and worldly temptations is what creates our woes and our wars. It is not pious to be poor and a sin to be rich. On the contrary, God wants us to be abundant. We can only give from what we have. The more of God’s abundance we draw to us, accept, and develop, the more we can share. It is our birthright to have our needs and desires met, with enough to share. Of course, the needs and desires vary from person to person. The ascetic monk has few needs. Others are led to multiple large homes, and lavish surroundings. We do an injustice to God when we compare what we have with others and then complain. This is yet another area to practice non-judgment of others. We do not know the challenges and burdens that some people face because of what we perceive as their abundance. They have their lessons; we have ours. Let us be joyful in what God sends to us - challenges and triumphs. Each of us has our own unique, right, and perfect abundance that we attract fully through our connection with Spirit. Prosperity can be viewed as the amount required for us to develop our spiritual nature. We are prosperous when we are free to pursue what is important to us spiritually. This has nothing to do with possessions and worldly wealth. God has placed within us an innate yearning to develop greater spiritual awareness. It has been called Divine Discontent. There is a constant call from Christ within for alignment. We sometimes misinterpret this yearning, this void, and so we attempt to fill it with ‘stuff,’ and lay up treasures on earth. We want to fill it with bigger houses, more cars, more … shoes. At other times we frantically try to fill in the void with destructive relationships, drugs, sex, mutant shopping habits or retail therapy, and a host of other unproductive activities. Yet despite how much we accrue, if we are not aligned with Spirit the discontent amplifies, the sense of emptiness increases, and the ache intensifies. We are thirsty, in a frantic search for life-giving waters. All we need to do is trust, change our focus, and let down our bucket right where we are. Our prosperity already exists. It surrounds us, but first we must become aware of it, and then claim it. Christ tells us in John 7:38: “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” Where do we begin? - right where we are, by giving thanks for what we do have. We stop comparing and judging and give thanks for our desires and needs being met before they manifest in our lives. We can acknowledge that our abundance exists, so we give thanks, and that draws it to us. But we do not draw abundance to us when we are whiney, and complaining, and fearful. From the depths of our gratitude, we naturally desire to return a portion of what our Source gives us back to the Source itself. From our finances, time, and abilities, it is good to give back to God from our abundance – whether that is a church, an uplifting author or publication, a television ministry, a book club, or an inspirational group. We give to what feeds us spiritually. This applies to all areas of our life – we give to the people who feed us emotionally and spiritually. From wherever we are fed we give our support, our love, our emotional and mental energies, our time, talents, and treasure. Forgiveness is another area through which we can give to others and to ourselves. This is consistent with the law of the Universe: dip into God’s abundance, absorb it, and then give back to make room for more. If we do not release, we become like the Dead Sea – rivers feed it, but there is no outlet. The result is a briny lifeless body of water. Unless we release through giving, we become dead. When I feel yucky and slimy and briny, it is almost always because I am not giving enough; I am clinging out of fear to something and my ego is Edging God Out. God’s abundance surrounds us; there is no need to fear. We cannot run out of substance, money, opportunity, relationships, or chances. There are infinite channels for God’s abundance into our lives. And these channels are not a one-to-one correspondence. In other words, we may give money today, but our abundance may return as love, or joy, or insight. Or we may give of our peace today and our abundance may show up as Grace or financial prosperity. Our part is to be grateful, and then open ourselves to God’s unlimited abundance that is being poured into our lives, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. It is my prayer that throughout our days we will take time to be still and feel God’s guidance and presence, and hear God’s still small voice calling to us, “Cast down your bucket, right where you are, and drink from the abundance of the life-saving waters of my Spirit.”